On a day in September...

I'm not going to say too much about September 11th, but I do want to honor this important anniversary with something I love: poetry.

Photograph from September 11th
by Wislawa Symborska
translation by Claire Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak

They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them   
above the earth toward the earth.

Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.

There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.

They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.

I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.


  1. I don't read much poetry, but I greatly admire Szymborska. Thanks for sharing this one.


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